Thursday, December 06, 2007

To wrap up November

This is a picture taken looking out the window of my office. The fire department were practicing rescuing people out of the river. Coming from a sunny local, its depressing to say that this was taken @ 2 in the afternoon. We are truely into winter now. No more 40 degree heat waves of November.

Wrapping up November: I'm not comfortable going to coworkers houses for Thanksgiving. I feel like a foreign exchange student at a family gathering. I don't understand their traditions & am always over-dressed. So I opted to go to Endor for turkey day. They decided to celebrate the OTHER Indians & have a bollywood meal. This included all of the participants changing into Indian clothing. The food took a long time to cook so they had planned to spend that time in the sauna. I was all game until they didn't offer even a towel. I can't spend an hour naked in the heat with complete strangers, then sit down to a table for dinner & small talk.......hippies! So I opted to stay inside & stir the pots. After a wonderful dinner, we watched Bollywood! Definately not traditionally Indian, but any Bollywood movie can be made to a drinking game.

Rules for when to take a drink during Bollywood movies:
1) Whenever an actor does a monologue inwhich they talk about themselves in third person.
2) Whenever a midget is used in place of a child.
3) Anytime that you see nipple. Doesn't matter what sex, male or female.
4) Anytime there is a double pevic thrust, either forwards or backwards.
5) Intermission. All Bollywood movies are three hours long & they have do have an "interval."
6) Whenever an actor whistle talks.
7) Anytime you see a goat.
Last, but not least,
8) Anytime there is a Bollywood kiss. Kissing is prohibited to be shown on Indian cinema. They can show a man licking a woman's inner thigh but no lip-on-lip interaction. Bollywood kisses are generally a close look in the eyes while they breath on another or a choregraphed head bob during a dance sequence.

Note: If you do intend to hold a Bollywood party, remember that it is required to attempt to dance along during the choregraphed scenes. (That can be up to four a movie.) So if you can pet a dog with one hand, turn the lightbulb with the other while doing the Roger Rabbit you'll be fine.

Like Technocolour would say in Ram Jaane K-L-A-S-S-S(finished),

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Have you ever needed such a break from your everyday that you get excited over the stupidest things?......Like going to the American Institute of Architects Convention.

I didn’t go to the convention last year because of Brandon’s death. I didn’t want to be sitting around the office during that time this year. So I pushed the principal’s of my firm to send us to Intern Bootcamp and the Convention down South.

So Rachael, James & I flew down on a commuter flight @ 6am. We showed up at the airport & we got laminated ticket stubs as our flight tickets. Then when we climbed onto the airplane we couldn’t stand up it was so small, but how great it was when the heat kicked on at our feet. I slept like a baby. My secretary reserved me a ‘mid-size’ vehicle. Apparent a Ford Escalde is now considered ‘mid-size’.

The Intern Bootcamp was a day filled with calculations and statics with a Structures professor from Virginia who was originally from Iran. He went over the General Structures and Lateral Forces portion of the Architects Registration Exam. While it hurt my head to remember four semesters of structural engineering, I think if I took this course anywhere else I wouldn’t of heard all about the earthquake forces. Anyway, we left early so I could go to the one art store to pick up the supplies that I ordered in September.

We drove down South to Girdwood. The big ski resort to stay in the only resort in Alaska. It was so fancy that I thought I was elsewhere. It had slippers & robes, a towel warmer and everything! The convention itself was nice but I wish we could move forward in just trying to convince architects to build sustainable & teach us more about it.

I snowed the entire time because its warmer down South than Fairbanks. By Sunday morning I had to shovel two feet of snow off the top of the SUV. I couldn’t reach it all even climbing up on the beast, so by the time we drove into Anchorage the snow drift on top of the SUV slid down the front and I had to make an emergency stop in a gas station to shovel it off. If your ever around the Stevens International Airport, pull into Garrett’s Tesoro Gas Station. The first thing that you’ll notice is the fake flowers duct taped on the pumps. Then when you go indoors, only a little portal is available to see out. The windows were covered with images of this Asian window. Then if figured out that she was the owner’s wife by the banners you could buy of her in her Miss Congeniality Asia. I really wanted to pry when at the cash register there were bobble-heads of Mr. Garrett you could buy. Where do you get those made? Christmas presents folks!

Miss you more than red-headed bobble heads, Victoria

ArtiCon & Diwali

It was the big event weekend. Dancing both Saturday and Sunday at the two big dance events for me. Saturday was articon. I went early to see how the packaging for sipping steams turned out. I went to a tea party a couple of weekends ago that invited a couple that imported tea from china and was selling it locally. They saw me drawing at the comic challenged and asked for me to illustrate some images for a fantasy line of teas called “realms of the tea”. So I stayed up every night for two weeks producing fantasy images of a human, an elf, a fairy, a dwarf and an anthead mystic. The work was exciting because I’m still on a high from the comic challenge but even better is that they are going to pay me in tea!

The printing was done quickly with a dot matrix & without taking it to their graphic designer. The positive note was that I got free tea at the Con. Sipping “Dwarf” tea while getting a drawing made of me in Manga style was geekiest but best way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

That evening I danced with Cold Fusion for the Masquerade Ball. It was a built-up event. I made friends with the Goth Show DJ and she plugged our performance like a carnival barker. I was really nervous when I first went on and made some mistakes but my flapper dance wins them every timeJ

This is me with is our new dancer Rachael & the veil that she brought me back from India.

This is me with Liz doing our Japanese school girl pose.

Diwali came in a hurry this year. We didn’t have enough time to teach the new dancers a new routine or costume them all. So we did a Solka, various poses that told a prayer. Once again I got dressed by an Indian woman. This year I’m going to learn how to wrap a sari… kind of embarrassing. Plus I need to use too many safety pins. I swear that the sari makers and the safety pin manufacturers are in collusion.

Miss you more than a second helping of Naan, Victoria

No going back

There's a scrolling sign for the University at the intersection of University & College there that tells what events are going on that week. I was sitting in my truck at the intersection on the way to work reading about the University Women's Craft Fair. The sign was listing the artist's and their crafts. It had one artist's name, OF and then the time. That confused me, how could a person be 0F 8:12am (yes, I was running late for work). My stupidity hit me like a brick. It was saying that it was 0 degrees farhrenheit out.
No going back now, full engines forward to winter.
Miss you more than a heat wave, Victoria

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

24 Hour Comic Challenge

I got an email from the director of one of my dance troupes. She saw an advertisement for the 24 Comic Challenge to be held at the Comic Shop. She had this crazy idea to contact the facilitator to see if they needed any performers for this event. I was excited…not to be performing because she didn’t know that it was going to be held at the comic book shop & it wasn’t an ‘event’. I had read about the 24 Hour Comic Challenge happening when I was in Denver but I had never been able go. This was the first time that the challenge was to be held in Alaska & it wasn’t going to be in Anchorage.

My work has always been narrative; it only seemed natural to head towards comics. A comic book is so daunting if you’ve never had any training, so I hadn’t even tried. Doing the 24 Hour Comic Challenge seemed like a good way to test the waters.

The idea is to make a 24 page comic in 24 hours, you can’t bring any prepared images or reference images & its better to have no set idea. I did just that but with one exception, I made a stapled dummy- A blank version of the final comic so I could get the layout correct. This was wonderfully helpful during the challenge because I was able to come up with a story, see how many pages it was going to take up and layout the story from there. Other than that I brought black drawing paper, white drawing paper, some circle templates, Pitt pens, graphite pencils, white chalk pencil, charcoal wash pencil, electric eraser, white out & a brand new MP3 player. Okay, I got the MP3 player that morning, ran to work to add some files……but I added folders which don’t read and ended up only having three folders- Frank Sinatra, Devison & Zombie Girl to listen to for 24 hours…..Luck Be A Lady to Night……

I still felt under prepared compared to the other participants. Compared to the other 7 adults, I was the only one that didn’t take the Making Comics course @ UAF or have my own comics in print. Then I used my electric eraser & it was like showing matches to cavemen. No one had a clue what it was & freaked out every time I turned it on. I guess different trades do use different tools. Everyone had one in architecture school.

I’m so slow at drawing so I didn’t expect to finish at all. Maybe a couple of pages to get me warmed up. Then every hour I was finishing one page & before I knew it 24 pages in 24 hours. Of course I cheated….a little. Two pages were taken up by a cover and back page. Then one page was for Dedications and another was a Thank You sheet. Plus I was able to finish by putting some of my lettering off for another day (still to be determined).

While we were at the Comic Shop they still had the weekly card games going on all around us. Loud and obnoxious at times but great entertainment during the late hours. A conversation at three am would be about some super hero game, “How can you fight Superman against Double-Jointed Guy?! What, is he going to kick Superman’s butt by bending his elbows backwards?!” Then plenty of local artists came in to run errands & bring home-made treats. Plus the store made a great profit that day so they’ll do it again.

To recap the 24 hours: I drank 24 bottles of water, three donuts, four cookies, one bagel, two slices of pizza, went to the bathroom 24 times, one white out stain on my cardigan, 6 hours of snow, listened to three albums numerous times, had four hand cramps & inhaled Sharpie fumes from 15 different pens all at once. Good times!

Miss you more than free, late night photo coping, Victoria

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Saqra workshop

The brilliant Saqra came to teach six days of bellydance. I was able to make four & I learned so much. My first night was learning a gypsy tamborine dance. I pre-ordered a traditional tamborine from Saqra. I was mildly disturbed when I was given my tamborine because it still had some hair on the stretched drum head. Apparently it came from a red-headed goat with freckles...I was playing me- as a goat.

In a half hour, a group of professional dancers can degrade to a room of school children with tamborines. First you start acting like Cher from the '60s, than you start playing the tamborine on you back-side, then on other peoples the end of the class & was getting a back massage from edge of someone elses tamborine.

I was nervous about dancing for four days straight because I exploded a blood vessel two weeks ago doing none other than yes, break dancing. (No snide comments about 'break' dancing, I heard them all from my co-workers). After four hours of shimmys I didn't feel anything the rest of the time.
During this time, I was puppy sitting my coworker's 14 week old Husky. This reminded me that I don't want to have another puppy. She was terrified of me but adored Itchy. Image the cool teenager on the block & then the little kid that idolizes her. That was the situation, Itchy was followed everywhere, whatever she did, the puppy did. Ate a rug though, Itchy did not.
It was also booty shopping time on Monday. It started snowing on Friday so Itchy needed some new sneaks. I went to the pet shop & bought the XXSmall pair. Went home to put them on & they didn't fit!! How is that possible?! The only animal that has smaller feet than Itchy is a ferret!
Miss you more than eye candy cosmetics,

My Sister's Visit

My sister came to visit for 10 days....I think & she got the full Alaskan experience. Eating crab, salmon, reindeer & musk ox. Going to the bathroom outdoors. Meeting bears. Watching Killer Whales jump. Camping out on the beach. Berry & rosehip picking. Flying on a cargo plane. She got to do it all.

I even got to experience something new. We were going to Seward to see the glaciers & she set up the reservations on the boat. I had convinced her that it was better to go on a small ship than a 150+ person tour ship. The morning we are of to our tour we have to meet our boat on a shore behind a restaurant. That gave me a bit of concern since there wasn't any docks. But as the clock turned 8am here comes the boat pulling up on the shore & lowering a hydrolic draw bridge...Antoinette had booked us on a water taxi, so instead of taking a site seeing tour, we were going to be dropped off at remote bays around the glacier. Reg our Captain would take us anywhere that we wanted to go. For the majority of the trip there was us, Reg and a photographer. Antoinette & I had no agenda so we just went around to where ever the photographer wanted to go. He wanted to photograph bears. So we spent the day running up the gravel shores like we were storming Normandy get photographs of bears.....and once the shock value of that ran out, finding rocks that look like sushi.

I could go on for pages of what a good time I had but instead I'll leave you with this picture.

Miss you more than drinking hot coco made from a spicket out the back of a school bus,


Saturday, August 11, 2007

No Sleep Til Brooklyn!!

It's 1:35pm on a Saturday. Sitting at my desk at the office making up hours for all the vacation I'm taking this month. Later on this month my sister is coming up to visit, but two days ago I came back from 8 great days in New York City.
My friend William was back there for the summer. For the past half decade he had been talking about me coming out to visit while he was there. These seemed to be the perfect time to go- right before he was going to head back to Denver for the fall semester.
I will be the first to admit that it had an air of a doomed vacation. With the humidity and heat at the highest in August & the folks at Alaska Airlines saying they couldn't find a flight with less than 21 hours travel time. It did work out fine & I had a fabulous time with William in the city.The first day was spent at William's place on the beach at Coney Island with him repeatedly reminding me to stop saying hello to everyone. It took me awhile, but eventually I was allowed to go out to ride on the Wonder Wheel. That part of the boardwalk is remaining but AstroLand will be torn down this following year. I'm happy to say that the freak show will stay! The first day I got a phonecall from my puppy sitter back in Alaska that Itchy had an accident! Apparently Itchy was running mach 4 chasing the sitters two big dogs and crashed head first into one knocking out a tooth.
The next day I had to sleep in because I slept was too dark:) But eventually we hit the MTA and went to the Village for my dance class. I was tired but I think that I did quite well for my first breakdancing class. We ate baklava in Thompson Square then in the evening we went out dancing at the Pyramid. High heels and cobble stone suck!
Friday I had to go to the free day at the MOMA. What a great building...and the art was fabulous. Richard Serra was in the main gallery. I've never been impressed with his work but how many artist can say that their art has killed someone? I got to see my favorite Rosseu, Belmer & Duchamp pieces that day. To top off the day I got to eat Indian food....that wasn't out of a can! We took a walk through Central Park at dusk while the fire flies were starting their show. I've never seen a fire fly in person before so William caught one for me:) We came out at Columbus Square. I generally dislike Italian food, so William wanted to challenge this so we went to plenty of Italian restaurants. In Little Italy we went to Lombardi's for THE BEST PIZZA EVER! Anyone who truely knows me that this is as rare to hear coming from my mouth as an apology from the Vatican. I will continue to say that pizza is just Italian leftovers....except there. William's mum took on a drive down to the Brooklyn Heights and then over to Williamsburg to walk on the promenade & get up close with the Brooklyn Bridge....and pizza at Patsy's.

I really enjoyed Chinatown. We came up from the subway at a park that had a traditional Chinese band playing with a bunch of older gentelmen playing some game that looked like checkers using MahJong pieces. We then ventured to a 5 story art store that I kept on thinking William was calling Propane...but it was just his accent & it was actually Pearl Paint. I went through almost every store in Chinatown looking for the Nana movies. William had to convince me not to buy every striveled root/sea creature that I could place my hands one. They looked so great! Instead he took me to a Kung Fu shop so I could finally by the veiled fans that I've been wanting for so long. Ofcourse we ate at a great restaurant though I wanted to try all of these speciality shops. A whole restaurant for egg custards? William & I decided then that we were going to both try to learn Japanese so we can go on this 'Ninja Vacation in Japan' I saw advertised. You think I'm joking? Back at the apartment, we got online to check out a website that you can download a 2 person RPG game called Romaji Quest that teaches you Japanese.

I did alot of dancing on my trip. I went to another class put on by the Bellyqueens to learn none other than Bellydancing breakdancing. Did I mention that I'm typing right now with a brace on my left wrist? Other than that we went to the Village again to a night called Salvation that didn't end until 4:30am. We returned back to Coney Island just in time to have sweet milk coffee and pastries up in a lifeguard chair while watching the sunrise over the Atlantic.

By far the best part of the trip (besides seeing William) was seeing Diamanda Galas in concert in the meat district in Chelsea. I've been wanting to see her in concert since I got my first album of hers for $60 back in 1995. She just never comes further West than NYC. I was a breath taking performance at the Highline Ballroom. William got the tickets.....major points go to him. Afterwards we walked past a marching band playing trashcans on our way to the WTC site.

A lot of these photos are of the night because it was bloody hot! We stayed in most of the mornings & then venture out for dinner. The most enjoyable place was a little Japanese restaurant in the Village. We had walked past it with its sign all lit up in Japanese with a cartoon head with a scarf over his head like a vintage Japanese theif & his lips doing an 'arooga' then a crazy bear sculputer next to the door. When we got our menus I looked at the specials & I couldn't understand why no one else around us was talking about it. They had some drawings of it of asian bondage & and a man putting a revolver up one woman's ass. The menu was in Japanese with english underneath. The descriptions left one to wonder...William said we were no longer friends if I order the 'Bull Penis.' Instead I got some Ume Onigiri, Yaki Soba, Red Bean Mochi & Kirin beer. When our meals came out William just stared at mine & said, 'Victoria-what did you order? Your food is moving." I looked down & he was right it was moving! The fish flakes on top were waving around like an octopus & I mentally went over the menu...nope, no live creatures in bbq noodles. Then I remembered my laws of thermodynamics, the heat of the noodles were making the paper thin fish flakes move. What fun! Then there were panchito machines near the bathrooms....which I had to wait out front of to see which one was the female bathroom.div> The last day that I was there a tornado struck Bay Ridge that shut down the lines into Manhattan. Otherwise I would of gone to the Guggenheim & seen more of Central Park. Instead I got on that darn bicycle & rode around with William. I had a great time in NYC. After opening up my suitcases I'm amazed on what little I bought. I didn't even return with a single scooter part?! It must of been a vacation after all.
Miss you more than moving meals.

Golden day Harry Potter

It was Golden Days, the celebration of Felix Pedro finding the first gold in Fairbanks, which is a week long worth of celebrations. Races, the red green regata, the duckie race, the parade, the sourdough pancakes. The underlining theme....Alaskans love can-can girls! Up until the mid-1980's the majority of women in Alaska were 'Good Time Girls'. They were loved so much that streets and establishments were named after them. The parades always have tons of can-can dancers & the Palace Theatre hosts the Burlesque Show that your's truely opened doing a flapper dance with Liz.
All of this doesn't matter compared to the evening Liz & I had seeing the new Harry Potter movie followed by a midnight party to pick up the latest & last Harry Potter book. I was afraid that I wouldn't get any peace to read it so Itchy & I headed to Canada, found an isolated spot & sat down.a>
It started to rain about Chapter Nine so we packed up to head home. On the way to the truck I found oddles of High Bush Cranberries & picked them on the way back to the truck.

Summer Solstice

I've been a bad, bad blogger. Its been forever since I last posted but yet I keep going to exciting events & taking photos. One example is the Midnight Sun Festival here in Fairbanks. Never have I live somewhere that the summer solstice is sooo important. Just walking down the street people greet you with a 'happy solstice!' It was even printed on my grocery receipt.

I wasn't in Fairbanks last summer so I didn't get to experience the offical 24 hours of sunlight. So this year I decided to make the whole of it and do a street painting with the girls. Since this was our offical first street painting as a group, we decided on the name of Midnight Madonnarie....okay, that's a bit of a lie because 'we' didn't decide on it. I was there with the event organizer, and she asked for a name for publication & we hadn't thought of ourselves as a group just some artists, so that name is what popped out.

Starting out that morning, one artist after another came up to where we were working asking us what we were selling. We would say nothing but they would looked stumped and ask another question because they must of posed the last question wrong. So they would ask us if we were selling prints of the finish work, or asking money for photos taken, or my favorite (since its ALWAYS asked) the town was paying us to draw on the ground and they are going to seal it afterwards. Nope, left them shaking their heads saying they'd have to come back later to see whate we were actually do.

This time I thought I would ask my coworkers to pick out the piece that I was going to be doing. I will never do that again. They picked John Singer Sargent's Lily, Lily, Carnation, Rose.

Jenni and Ellen did their own piece:
They have improved so much & its only their second painting!

Note: These photos were taken at 10:30pm at night.

P.S. We made $186 in tips...way to go Alaskans!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

First Streetpainting of the Summer

While I was in Denver I went to my favorite art store. Alaska only has one real art store & that is in Anchorage. They don't have a large supply so Meinger's in Denver is where I go to get my large Prang chalks. These are mandatory if you're a street painter. They are huge, filled with pigment & only $1.29 each! So I stock up when I'm in town. I tired to get chalk in Fairbanks but you can only buy it at Michael's & JoAnn's. The only white chalk that you can find is the children's kind.

I brought back enough chalk for myself & my two apprentices, Jennie Seay & Ellen Millon. These two ladies were interested in the trade so they accompanied me to my first street painting of the season. The parks department gave me the full rein of the parks in Fairbanks, so I chose Griffin Park because it is right along the river near the vistors' center. This is Ellen Millon's very first street painting. I can't remember the name of the artist but its called 'The bad Egg.'

Then there's the drawing by Jennie Seay called 'Golden Lizard'
Then there's this one that I did as a homage to Brandon. Rosetti's Persphone was the last street painting he did
when we chalked together.

It rained on & off again that day but we still continued on. We had a few vistors walk by while we chalked. One of the locals told me "That's so pretty I could fart." That's the first time my art has ever received a compliment like that.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Way Past my Vactions

I went to Denver the end of May to meet up with my parents who were flying up from Florida with Itchy. My main reason was to pick up Itchy to bring back for a summer in Alaska. While I was there I got to see what's changed, visit friends & do some scootin'. Here's a photo journal of my trip.
One of my favorite things is to work on art with my friends. One evening I spent time with Hollyn, Kitty Kim, & Tawnya over at Tawnya's house. This is a picture of Kitty Kim looking @ my ATCs.

This is William sitting on the back of the Vespa LX150 that Wayne loaned us for the three days of the Colorado Chaos Scooter Rally. I finally won the farthest traveled award.

I got to hang out my Mods n Knockers girls. Here we are crashing a party, we had this girl tagging along riding on the back of Spam's scooter. Apparently when she starts to 'meep' she's really drunk. So we got money together & tried to get her a cab. Here's Suzi & Spam laying in the street trying to stop a cab.

I got the chance to spend time with my family. We tried to go to the mountains but it down poured. We ate fantastically at this place outside of Woodland Park called Wines of Colorado. Then we stopped off at Idaho Springs and I popped into a mansion. Hidden in the basement were all of these dollhouses from around the world. This is one from Thailand.
I finally got to see the new addition to the art museum with my mother. It was designed by Daniel Libstein.
I had a blast visiting with my friend Laurie at her gallery & then she asked me to go to Lakeside amusement park. I love it there, its from the '30s and beautiful.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How Hypochondria Starts

The swelling has subsided on my foot & I'm left with a wonderful array of green, black & blue. Right in time to receive a phone call from the clinic. (I won't go so far as to call it a hospital because I haven't yet seen an actual doctor there. Everyone askes you which PA you went to see & then goes on to tell you 'oh, that one miss diagonised my daughters mono as a cold' or 'that one told me I should take up jogging when I had a thyroid problem.' Which has left me with the belief that you could receive more concern for your health from a co-worker than an Alaskan PA. On the other hand, you really don't see many Doctors in Alaska. Most doctors here have to be 'Womb to Tomb' doctors having office hours in town as well as flying out to the villages and villagers don't have health insurance. They mainly have Medicare. The radio says that an Alaskan Doctor makes $18/hr on average.) The PA told me the good news is that I don't have any 'new' fractures in my foot. Apparently my foot was already broken & I've been tromping around on it. He told me that it has formed this condition that begins with a 'Z' and I can't even phonetically spell but boils down to a growth that forms over a break when you don't set it.

Not a biggy in my boat because it doesn't mean that I going to have any issues with it in the future & I doesn't hurt. But this is where Hypochondria starts, because now I'm wondering when did I break it? Was it one of those times that I decided to jump the railing instead of taking the stairs? When I slide across four lanes of traffic with a scooter on top of me? A pair of heels that was designed by a sadist? The list goes on. Then I wonder if I would know if I broke it in the future. I guess it depends on your mind set. Do I think about how oblivious I must be to pain or that I must have 'dainty' bones? I don't think I'm the kind of person to get dragged into those thoughts. Instead of a 'glass half full' or 'glass half empty', I'm a 'what's in the glass'. So my mind has been drawn from whether I should worry about breaking bones or not to can I find a toe nail polish to match my foot.

Miss you more than Urban Decay 'Bruise' nail polish,

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dance your feet off

This is a picture of my left foot on Jessica's dashboard @ 9pm on our way back from Anchorage. We spent the weekend there performing @ a 'circusque' show called Carpe Nocturne & then two days of intensive workshop with Urban Tribal out of San Diego. It was fantastic, I learned some slick new moves, got to go out dancing, ate a falafal with a moose in the parking lot & got an 85% discount on shoes. Then Sunday afternoon we were learning how to spin around on our knees. If you want to try this at home you're supposed to use the top of your feet to brake. I did & discovered that I have 'sensitive veins'. At least that's what Heather Stants, the instructor, said as the dancers around me shrieked when flesh on the top of my foot rose up an half an inch with the veins just pumping away. It didn't feel too bad but gross to watch.
This morning I went to the clinic & they made me get x-rays incase I have a hair-line fracture. I should know in two days. The doctor gave me some good advice, "You're supposed to walk on the bottom of your feet, not the tops." Until then I'm stuck wearing flip-flops when I have such a need to use my feet. My scooter is ready for driving & I have a big performance in two weeks that I need to dance on my knees:(, I got another breakdancing video in from Netflix.
Some positive news is that I might of won the Nenana Ice Classic! I chose April 27th @ 2:30pm & the ice broke that day @ 3:47pm. My coworkers said that people get down to the exact minute. Is it bad that I have hope?
Miss you more than staring @ a pulsating wound for 357 miles,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bubble gum Cigars

Ensign Regina reporting: ArctiCon (Star Trek Convention) went off with only a couple hitches. (The dressing room smelled like bananas. Plus a creepy guy was putting on his costume over his clothes & wouldn't leave while we changed costumes.) The crowd went roaring crazy over our Borg "Asshimmilation" dance. There were actually guys lined up outside the dressing room, we got interviewed for a documentary & our picture ended up in a local entertainment magazine. Which ofcourse landed another job next month dancing @ a speakeasy called the Monkey Ball. We travel down to Anchorage this weekend for a performance & workshop with the delicious Heather Stands. Which means from here to the beginning of July I'll have a performance every weekend. I even have a performance in Denver on May 20th @ Casa Blanca. The fabulous Phoenix asked me to do a little dance....I'm so nervous, I've never danced in a restaurant before.

Major moves have been made on the scooter now that I'm not working 7 days a week. First I went to start the engine on Easter....I thought with this much praying on one day, the odds were in my favor. But they weren't & it didn't start. I wanted to walk infront of a bus but they don't run on Sundays. Instead I checked the spark & the compression & the fuel. They all worked but the float bowl was clogged. But I don't want to have a bucket of diesel sitting around the garage.

When I went into work on Monday my coworker asked if his kid's 2 stroke engine class could work on the Vespa! Joy yet yikes! I ran home & changed my tires from the original, dry rotted tires to my ultra-sexy, Continental White Walls:) Okay, the don't look as sexy as they should because I needed to clean the rear rim that had 50 years of exhaust coating in. For the first time in my life I had grease all the way up to my elbows. So I have naughty, greasy, finger marks all on the white.
Next I needed to take off the headset, detach the brake cable,drop the front fork taking off the front wheel just so I could change the lock. I love how the manuals don't exactly describe how to do this. The original manual calls for a Vespa Tool T001-1595....that no longer exists. The restoration manual shows you how to make the tool out of a pipe. I used a Phillip's head screwdriver, a hammer, & a piece of string. It went on perfectly:)

I got a trailer & drove it over to the school. Thursday I got the report that the engine started!!!! I drove around town looking for baby blue bubblegum cigars to hand out but they were no where to be found:( I won't see the Vespa till the end of the school year because I'm allowing him to work on any thing else that my need some the brakes.

Miss you more than bubblegum cigars, V

Friday, April 06, 2007

Springtime in Fairbanks, Part 2

This is the time of year that you should never visit Fairbanks. Its warmed up to 46 degrees! That's above zero! But it still gets below in the evenings. So where it was pearly white a couple of weeks ago, now its slushy, dirty snow that turns to ice during the night. You have to remember to park at least 4 feet away from any building. If the owners didn't have the curtiousy to shovel their roof, you have the chance of having a 20 lb. chunk of icy, snow dropping on the hood of your car. Alaskas version of hail damage. Not to mention the people are crabby. I missed this season last year because I was relocating. I wish I was elsewhere right now.

After saying that, my last roommate, Tina, is in town visiting. I don't know why she's in town from Arkansas, but I hope to see her before she leaves on Sunday. I've had the flu for the past two days & have been camped out in the apartment.

Last weekend I was in Ester performing with Cold Fusion for the Ester Library Lollapalooza. I did my first solo with fans!....& I didn't mess up. Tada! It was a wierd location. Jessica & I walked in the front door & she said, "There's is some serious Pong in the house." Pong is Alaskan slang for B.O. Like the Atari game, that the little ball slowly moves across the screen until it hits the paddle. We were the paddles (Jessica is a born & raised Alaskan that used to get to grandma's house on dog sled so Atari is oblivous to her but its a term that they used in high school.) The concrete floor was freezing at this place but it was sweltering up top. For a first performance it went well & the audience loved us. Here's me eating some Bulgolgi in a Korean restaurant under the bowling alley. We were waiting for the cooking staff to do some karoke, but they were shy that night.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ground Hog Day

Cabin fever is a dirty, dirty...con-artist. October you are lured in with promises of comfy evenings working on engaging projects. You happily skate through the end of the year with the distractions of the holidays. Come January you get hit with the nastiest weather imaginable only to discover that it gets worst the next month. By the end of March those projects have been spread out all over the place & your home gets smaller & smaller. Plus you realize that for the past three months, other than a couple of exceptions, you've spent everyday going to work & home. THIS IS WHEN IT GETS CRAZY. I went to a dinner were some of the women were in complete flannel & woolen, Alaskan wear other than they were wearing high heels...because they couldn't stand another evening of wearing boots. But that's cabin fever for you. If you've never experience this before, think back on any operation or dental surgery you might have had. Are you there? Remember the day after when you still have some sedation or taking pain killers where you feel like you just repeated a task that you had already completed or a thought you had only a few moments ago. That's what its like, a living reinactment of Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day. My receptionist says that any day now we'll start to read about murder/suicide combos in the paper.....& I might be involved.

I think that this might be a repeat of a previous blog so I'm going to change the spark plug & oil the pistons on my scooter then look at the swimsuits in the Victoria's Secert catalog. Here dry grass...where are you?!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ice Classic

Its March, spring is in the air, time for Winter Carnivals. If you want to experience some arctic fun then March is the time of year to come. The Fur Rondy is in Anchorage, Winter Carnival/Dog Days/International Ice Carving Festival in Fairbanks, the Iditarod, & the Nenana Ice Classic. I was at the later last weekend to bellydance. The Ice Classic is also called the Tripod Festival because they put this large tripod on the iced Tanana River. Then they run a line to a clock on the shore. When break-up happens, the tripod falls into the river, snaps the line & stops the clock. You buy tickets that have a date & time that you think the tripod will fall in. Whoever guesses the closest gets the kitty. I think that its been a warm winter, so I'm guessing April 27th.

The Tundra Caravan was hired to dance at the indoor part of the festival. So we drove down to Nenana for two shows. The first time we preformed after the "Crusty Carthart Competetion". Yuck!! After that we went to lunch. There's two restaurants in Nenana, the Rosewood Cafe & The Two-Choice Cafe.....if you're interested the two choices are pizza or hot dogs.

Here's a picture of Jessica, Liz & myself outside the hall. Its -28 degrees with a -61 degree windchill. Christ that's cold!

I took some amusing pictures of Nenana. They have a district court there....which is also the hair salon. Here's a picture of the snow cat repair shop/woodshop.
Update on the Vespa: Now that I don't have to spend every waking moment in the office, I have some time to work on the scooty. So I popped into the Alaska Fun Center for some gear oil. They sell snowmobies, atvs & such so I thought it might be a good chance. They didn't have non-detergent oil. Oh well- but then the clerk asked if there was anything else that I was looking for. Jokingly I asked if they had any Vespa parts. The guy went into the back & brought out two boxes of Vespa parts! They used to be a Vespa dealer 40 years ago. They stocked parts until the last owner left town. The two boxes were the last of the dealership....they sold to me for $20!

Miss you more than runaway Blitzen,

Friday, March 02, 2007

Subversive Origami

Its been a while since I last wrote. Mainly because I've been working between 14-21 hour days, everyday, for the last month. But, as of today, I'm done designing the body of the airport. Fourteen months of pure labor have been lifted off of my shoulders. Now I can work on the fun stuff like the sandbox in the airport. Last Spring they sent me to a couple of elementary schools to talk to children about what they thought the airport of the future would look like. Some of their ideas were brilliant like hover-craft suitcases. What they kept on mentioning was how important the dinosaur sandbox was in the greeter lobby. So I pitched an idea, the shareholders liked it & now I'm designing a playbox out of glass. That's the kind of things that I have to look forward to....all the ideas that I pulled out that I thought no one would let me do & now I have to figure out how the hell to do it:)

While I'm sitting at my drafting table for hours upon hours, I have a couple of distractions. One is the Origami-A-Day calendar. Each day or two has folding instructions & the backs of the sheets are coloured so you can use the sheet from the day before to fold with. The instructions for Presidents' Day used a dollar bill. Then came Fat Tuesday that was a half instruction that ended on Ash Wednesday. This was what I completed for Ash Wednesday-

Do you think that the creators of this calendar are making a statement about money & god?

This reminds me of my Yeats? He had an ongoing discussion about a unknown island in the South Pacific with a colleague. He had the 25th edition of an encyclopedia that reported about this island. His colleague's encyclopedia never reported such an island. So they went their seperate ways, periodically searching for evidence. In the end they discovered that the editor that year of the 25th edition of that encyclopedia was an athesist. He believed by adding one page in an encyclopedia of a fictional land was proving that anyone can play creator & disproving the existance of god.

So I still haven't slept....just wanted to share with you that status of my mind after 24 hours without sleep.

Miss you more than reading between the lines,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Valentine's Day Gift

Check out the awesome set my sister knitted for me! We have a matching hat, scarf & wrist-warmers (i.e. mitts). She came up with the patterns herself, attached an antique, Chinese coin to the end of the scarf & included gloves inside the mitts so I would know what they were. In one day, I've gotten so many complements on them. My coworkers were saying that I looked quite Alaskan & blurted "I'm that kind of Alaskan that not only kills but also skins their own Muppets."
Anyway- Way to go sis! And to think that the scarf that she knitted me a year ago had spaces in it. Makes me wish that I had bought her this book I saw on knitting called Dominknitrix-Whip Your Knitting Into Shape by Jennifer Stafford...there's a website to it at
I will not knit...I leave that repeative motion to my sister but I do appreciate it (especially because my wrists are nice & toasty now in my vintage, leopard fur jacket with 3/4 sleeves). She says that she can now knit socks, so I'm looking forward to some knee-high, bumble-bee socks. I used to have a pair that had bees with little arms that held onto the top of my tanker boots.
Miss you more than a muppet skin suit, Victoria

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cold Fusion

I'm an idot. Two weeks ago I got asked to audition for the local tribal fusion dance troupe called Cold Fusion. A night before hand, I must of channeled some teenage B-boy because attempted to do a corkscrew spin. I was supposed to kick my right leg out, swing it back kicking it into the back of my left knee, crumple down landing on the side of my right foot then spin up unwinding myself....I ate lineoleum in a way never done before. I showed up to the audition with a hyper-extended knee & seriously sore back only to find out that I was an automatic in & DIDN'T HAVE TO AUDITION!

The troupe consists of six awesome girls. We practice two days a week out in the mountains @ (get this) the Quaker Commune:) [Two of the girls rent cabins there.] Its all of these log cabins, with no water ofcourse, & a main house that they all eat their meals at. That first night I tried to hold it as long as I could but eventually I had to go to the outhouse. I almost didn't make it from laughter. There's no running water but there was motion activated lights up to & inside the outhouse! Inside it was a two seater which I didn't find romantic at all. Each hole had a pull out lid that prevents ice from forming & closing up the hole. I held my breath when I had to sit down only to be shocked that it wasn't cold. They had put insulated foam on the seat. Apparently you don't put toilet paper down the holes in Alaska but they have a can that you burn it in. When I returned the girls wanted to know how I liked the insulated foam.

They were also eager to get me joined up then so I could be part of the photoshoot on Sunday. The photoshoot was four hours of poses, followed by screams & running around in circles.This photoshoot will eternally be known as the coldest day of my life! This is a picture of me @ 4 degrees out, a few minutes before I have to take off the coat & pose on an ice sculpture of a polar bear with only the coin bra & fishnet covering me up. Oh, we got to wear our ear muffs:)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crowns & their Bards

I almost didn't go to the Bard-a-thon this Sunday after I received a $170 parking ticket on Friday. Our office has been encouraging us to frequent the downtown retail, so I went to try out the 2nd Street Station for lunch. They only had three parking spots for this little place so I parked next to it, went inside BECAUSE IT WAS OPEN only to be told that they weren't serving food because the cook was sick. This is a restaurant so I didn't quite understand why anyone was there but there were a couple of tables of people drinking coffee & water. I walked out bewildered 5 minutes later to 2 parking tickets. One, a ticket for parking in someone elses lot (it wasn't a public lot) another because my season pass has expired. Apparently you don't have to do any registration or legal work on you cars in the summer up here but come November you have to get that taken care of. There was also a sticker on the tickets that said I had to pay the tickets in 5 days or the fines double! No chance for contesting in that little time.

I did go to the Bard-a-thon all the same. It was located in the Empress Theatre which is on 2nd Street up a flight of stairs. There were the tables all in a circle with the lights & the editions of Shakespeare. We read the Winter's Tale which said that it was a romance. In the first act the king was jealous of the queen's nice comments about the king of Bohemia so he thinks her unborn child is his & throws her in prison & askes his servant to kill the King of Bohemia. I had to stay around for Act II to see how this turns into a romance.

There weren't any men except a guy from New York that called in, so I ended up being the King of Bohemia. I told my coworker that he should of brought his teenage boys because there were a lot of teenage girls. Which brings up another debate that my friend Juliet & I are having....I believe that you cannot meet men any place that doesn't involve alcohol & she believes otherwise. So the Bard-a-thon is another point on myside of NON-hook-up joints. I brought this up with some local ladies. I put out the point that a Shakespeare reading has never been an occasion to meet men BUT where in Alaska do you meet guys socially? It is crawling with them! So they said that you have to get involved in what local men like to do......WHICH IS: hunting, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling & camping. (This came out of their mouths.) My question is then-- How does one female approach a man hunting in the forest? Because my mother never taught me how.

Anyway, I got a crown put in, my first. It was weird, the dental hygienist did get my lip stuck in the suction tube & sprayed powder adhesive across my face. The office was in a log cabin but like all dentists' offices it still looked like it was designed by Mr. Brady in the inside & hadn't been renovated since the '70s.

Miss you more than chewing gum,

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Week of January 20th

The sun returned to Barrow on Tuesday. They haven't had sun since November & now have one hour of sunlight a day. This made me think about the sun that lightly skips across the horizon at my office. This is a picture of the sun at 11 am out my office window & in my office. My office is up on the mezzanine so I have this view.

I know that his sounds gay but I just had my year review & I didn't get fired or get laid off. So I'm skipping across lilly pads right now.

I'm going to try to take some time out of the office this weekend. I might not even go in! Instead I think I'm going to try out the Bard-a-thon. Its put on by the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater @ Empress Theatre. The Bard-a-thon has been running from last Saturday to this Sunday--24 hours a day. That's about four plays a day.

You might be saying, wow, I didn't know there were that many Shakespearing actors in Alaska...well, there aren't. Whoever shows up gets a part & you act it without ever practicing or in my case, reading the play. I'm going to drop in at noon on Sunday for A Winter's Tale because they will be serving free hot chocolate:) If you want to join me you can call in& do a part via the phone. The number is 907-457-4511 or if you just want to listen, its going to be streamed @ http:/

Next week: My first trip to an Alaskan dentist. My accountant brought back macadamia nuts from Hawaii & I cracked a tooth.